October 1, 2002
TO: MY MANY PRINCE HALL F&AM BROTHERS,
I greet you again my Brothers with Open-Heart, Friendship and Brotherly Love. I would first like to thank the many Brothers who have called, e-mail and stop by to talk to me about my last letter. It has made me feel that this Revival in the uplifting of Prince Hall Masonry is on the right track.
I do ask one thing and that is you share those letters with other Brothers, but more importantly read them in your Lodges. If you would like, send me your Lodge's address so that I can send one to it.
I have done a lot of reading this past month on the subject of Freemasonry concerning the Vision I have. The one thing I do know is that we all had or still have a Vision when we became a Mason. I have tried to bring different views on this matter. Some of the books I read or reread have been, "The First Great Light" by Rev Raymond Vincent, "The Newly-Made Mason" by H.L. Haywood, "Black Square & compass" by Joseph A. Walkes Jr. and "Masonic Thought for each day of the year" compiled by Alphonse Cerza. These readings continue to refresh my thought patterns. In these readings I found one piece that I thought you would like, especially with all that is going on in this Country and the World. I thought this would refocus our priorities.
The voice of Freemasonry is needed in the world today, and I believe we will all agree that it should be a far stronger voice and a more incisive and effective one. Freemasonry has something to say to that great mass of struggling humanity whose voices rise to the heavens from every corner of this troubled sphere. Fundamentally, all are seeking a better way of life, even those that speak in terms of anger and of hate. The teachings of Freemasonry proclaim that better way. Laying no claim to originality nor superiority of intellect, its precepts are drawn from the noblest thoughts of the greatest teachers of the Ages. Professing no particular creed, it teaches an unwavering belief in God. It looks hopefully to the day when all mankind will be one universal brotherhood under His Divine Fatherhood. It urges its followers to adhere to the New Law proclaimed by the Founder of the Christian religion, " that ye love one another." It pledges its members to live moral, upright lives, squaring their actions by the square of virtue. It seeks to instill in weak humanity the attributes of God—an all-embracing love, a devotion to truth, an exemplary character. It urges men in their dealings with one another to be just, fair, honest, tolerant, compassionate, loyal, doing each as he would be done by.
Never in all the history of mankind has the world needed a strong voice proclaiming these attributes and these virtues, and the need for men to adhere to them if they would lead fuller lives—more than in the day in which we live. The things Freemasonry has to say need to be said. Few voices can say them more effectively than we if—IF we have the courage, the devotion, the will to do so—the courage, the devotion, and the will that characterized those who built this Fraternity and bequeathed it to us.
How can we make the voice of Freemasonry more effective today? Certainly not by speaking in more strident tones—not by filling the ether with our propaganda—nor by seeking to drown out or still the voices of others. Such are not the ways of Freemasonry.
But there are many things we can do. For the most part they are simple things. Whether or not we do them and how well we do them will be the measure of our devotion to the Craft and to the things for which it stands.
The voice of Freemasonry can speak in many ways. Through its ritual it can speak to the finest and noblest instincts that dwell in the hearts and minds of men. Through its deeds of charity, of kindness, and of brotherliness it can speak to the deepest emotions that well up from man's better nature. Through what it is and what it stands for—through what its members are and what they stand for; it can speak and speak most eloquently.
The voice of Freemasonry—one of the many reverberating out into space from the peoples of our earth—speaking of belief in God, of good will among men, of its dream of a universal brotherhood, of men—speaking softly, humbly, but with the strength of a deep conviction and a resolute purpose. A voice almost lost in the fury, the din and the clamor of that great babble of earth's voices. And yet a voice that must be heard—for it is only as that voice and others like it are heard and can calm the fears, raise the hopes, and inspire the confidence of the many peoples comprising the human family that mankind can hope for an ultimate peaceful destiny.
That excellent writing was by George A. Newbury
We are facing hard times in this country and we must Bond together as Brothers to survive whatever challenges may come in the future. We as Prince Hall Masons have a very major role to play in this country in insuring the safety of our families, communities, state and country. Our biggest challenge is in the SAVING OF OUR YOUTH. Without them our tomorrow is lost. We need to be the forefront in the DEFENSE of all; WE ARE OUR COUNTRIES HOPE.
Again from a Brother who truly loves Prince Hall Masonry and will live his VISION. STAND AND BE COUNTED.
RICHARD (RICAN) VEGA